Dr Claudia Kemper
Telephone: 0207 188 8706
MRC Centre for Transplantation,
King's College London,
5th Floor Tower Wing,
London SE1 9RT
About Dr Claudia Kemper
Claudia Kemper obtained her PhD from the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine, University of Hamburg, Germany in 1998. She performed her postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of John Atkinson at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and became a faculty member of Washington University as an Instructor in Medicine and then Research Assistant Professor in 2004/2006. In 2008, Dr. Kemper joined the MRC Centre for Transplantation at King’s College London as a Senior Lecturer.
The complement system rapidly recognizes and destroys invading pathogens and other harmful entities. It was long thought to be a primitive “stop-gap” measure used to slow down infection until the more sophisticated adaptive immune system can undertake its highly potent attacks using antibodies and cells tailored to the specific target. It has become clear how simplified this view had been: the successful immune defense is now seen as a complex process in which complement plays vital roles in instructing and guiding the adaptive response. My laboratory focuses on how this communication is achieved.
The recent ‘rediscovery’ of several Treg populations sparked immense interest and we know today that Tregs are central in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance and the control of unwanted responses to benign environmental factors such as enteric bacteria or food antigens. We found that the activation of the complement regulator CD46 on human CD4+ T cells induces the de novo development of adaptive Tregs that can suppress the proliferation and function of effector T cells in the vicinity. These CD46- or complement-induced Tregs (cTregs) exert their function through the secretion of IL-10, the consumption of IL-2 and granzyme B production.
Although, the importance of IL-10-secreting Treg subpopulations in immune homeostasis, specifically at mucosal sites, is acknowledged, our general understanding of these cells is scarce. Thus, we are currently building a research program aimed at elucidating the role of complement-induced Tregs in normal immune homeostasis and states of chronic/unwanted inflammation such as autoimmunity, transplantation or pathogen persistence.
Key projects of the laboratory include:
The characterization of the CD46-induced signalling pathway leading to cTreg development in human CD4+ T cells.
The identification of CD46-induced cTreg surface markers that provide a range of potential target molecules for the controlled induction and migration of cTregs.
The identification of the parallel cTreg induction pathway in mice and establishment of a small animal model to analyze the in vivo function of cTreg.
Dr Gaelle Le Friec
Tel. 020 7188 8566
Tel. 020 7188 8566